Activism and allyship guide
Injustice is something that exists in the world and is faced daily by many different types of people. For many Black people, it ranges from microaggressions*, like a woman clutching her purse when approaching a Black man or a person telling a Black woman she looks “neat and clean,” to death either at the hands of the police or someone else who believes they are within their right to invalidate a Black person’s life.
When many of these instances come to light by way of social media or the news, people want to find ways that they can be helpful or support the cause. It is in these moments that you see people engaging in online activism by sharing posts; participating in a solidarity activity like wearing hoodies or buying Skittles in support ofTrayvon; running in support of Ahmaud; singing "We are not afraid" in support of Breonna Taylor; or participating in marches and spontaneous protests.
While these acts are important, helping to underscore the unity of people who are enraged by these situations, there is more that can be done to truly advance the cause of justice. Those actions may look different based on how you exist in the world, but ultimately, everyone has a role to play in creating a more equitable society.
If we are to advance the cause of racial justice, it has to be done both in the moments when we are outraged and in the quiet moments when there isn’t a new hashtag born out of a specific moment of injustice. It is about changing attitudes and beliefs that ultimately lead to actions. It is hard work, to be sure, but it is the real work that will move the needle.
Purpose of this document
This document is designed to help people on their allyship journey and has been designed by Airbnb’s Black@ employee resource group specifically as a guide to how Black Airbnb employees want allies to show up for them, and it references work from activists and experts in antiracism. Being an ally does not start and stop during moments of convenience and inconvenience. Being an ally is a journey of commitment to understanding the dynamic realities marginalized people face, while confronting the role the privileges you enjoy have played in creating those realities.
Social privilege is a special, unearned advantage or entitlement used to one's own benefit or to the detriment of others. Groups can be advantaged based on social class, age, disability, ethnic or racial category, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion. There are a range of ways to use one’s own privilege to help other marginalized communities:
- At the start, Phase I, one begins to be an ally when people with privilege seek to understand the experiences of marginalized people and empathize with those experiences
- Phase II begins when people leverage their own privilege to create space for marginalized people where those people might not have been able to exist, or to step back themselves and allow for the marginalized people to step up
- Finally, in Phase III, one is actively working to dismantle the structures of privilege, even your own privilege, that keep other people in a marginalized position
- Be an active ally
- Do not remain silent. Be heard so that others know you do not condone injustice.
- Consider watching the video of George Floyd (trigger warning: it will make you extremely uncomfortable) or read “How do you kneel on a neck for nine minutes”? If you choose not to, ask yourself why you're choosing not to, and examine what you can learn from that introspection.
- If you plan to show your support on social media, or participate in movements like #BlackOutTuesday, avoid using hashtags related to Black Lives Matter (#BLM, #BlackLivesMatter, #Black_Lives_Matter) and location tags. These hashtags and location tags can fill up the news feeds of people who use social media for real-time updates as they organize or participate in public demonstrations.
In moments of public outcries and uprisings
- Demand justice by supporting online petitions or making calls to local leaders
- Leverage your own networks to help educate others about the injustice that has occurred
- Allies, show up and make your voice heard: If you are a white ally, you can march with Black protesters or form a line to defend them
- Financially support organizations on the ground in the impacted place(s), especially those that are led by Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color
- Direct other people to the resources you find and are supporting, including voices who are educating you about the issues
- Check on your friends and colleagues, particularly those who are Black
- If you manage Black employees, be sensitive to the trauma that they are dealing with when one of these instances occurs and manage with compassion
In moments of perceived calm
- Here is a list of antiracism resources. Educate yourself about the history of inequities that have marginalized Black people.
- Engage in a Daring Discussion with someone about a topic that you don’t understand or would like to understand better
- Support national and local organizations who are working to uplift, center, empower, and liberate Black people and communities—preferably those that are Black-led
- Educate yourself about the laws and policies that will negatively impact Black communities and advocate against them
- Support elected officials and candidates with agendas that support the voices of the most marginalized people
- Get civically engaged by voting in every election, but also supporting efforts to protect people’s right to vote (like volunteering for election protection or participating in get-out-the-vote activities)
In support of George Floyd
- Sign this petition to demand the police officers who strangled George Floyd are charged, or text "George Floyd" to 55156
- Call 612-324-4499 to be connected with offices that have the authority to charge the officers in the murder of George Floyd
- Donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund directly or through Benevity to help provide bail for people protesting against the killing of George Floyd or to learn about other local organizations on the front lines
In support of Breonna Taylor
- Sign this petition to demand charges are filed in the death of Breonna Taylor or text ENOUGH to 55156
- Call 502-735-1784 to demand justice for Breonna right away
- Support the Louisville Community Bail Fund to help bail out protestors
In support of Ahmaud Arbery
- Sign this petition to remove the local prosecutors from office who failed to move forward with Ahmaud’s case
- Donate to Ahmaud’s family with this fundraiser
In support of the Black community
Daring Discussion Guides
The goal of Daring Discussions is for participants on different sides of a given issue to learn about one another's personal experiences and perspectives as a starting place to gain compassion, respect, and stronger relationships. Participants are asked to commit to avoiding judgment, defensiveness, and anger and to try to express any negative feelings and different views constructively from a place of giving as opposed to being oppositional or needing to be right.
To become an ally, you must seek understanding of the lived experiences of a particular person or group of people. Here is the Daring Discussions toolkit to help guide you through meaningful conversations with someone about a topic or set of topics that will help you build empathy and compassion for marginalized people.
- 20+ Allyship Actions for Asians to Show Up for the Black Community Right Now
- Antiracism resources
- Learn about the 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice
- Revolution: Hear Malcom X, Angela Davis, MLK Jr., and others speak out
- BLM: A Playlist
This list below is not exhaustive and should be considered a starting point for anyone looking to learn more about the history of inequities and how they were created. There are many other articles, books, podcasts, and other media that you can use to further your own self-awareness.
- Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma
- The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh
- Why We Need to Talk About Race
- The Enduring Solidarity of Whiteness by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life
- The Intersectionality Wars
- What is Intersectionality and What Does It Have to Do with Me?
- 'We Need Co-conspirators, Not Allies': How White Americans Can Fight Racism
- The 1619 Project
- Bear Witness, Record, De-escalate: How Race May Affect What Bystanders Are Called to Do in Cases Like George Floyd’s
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt
- Blindspot by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald
- The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
- Slavery By Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude Steele
- Just Mercy by Brian Stevenson
- Pod Save the People hosted by DeRay Mckesson
- Code Switch
- The Nod
- The Stoop
- Identity Politics
- 1619 Audio Series
- On One with Angela Rye
Films & Videos
Organizations to Support
Here are some of the organizations Airbnb has supported or currently work with:
- United Negro College Fund
- Color of Change
- National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
- National Action Network
- National Urban League
- Rainbow PUSH Coalition
- Data for Black Lives
- National Council of Negro Women
Here are other great organizations that you can support:
- Movement for Black Lives: a coalition organization representing a collective of groups working to center and empower the Black community
- Your local Black Lives Matter Chapter
- National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Black Youth Project 100
- Campaign Zero
- Center for Policing Equity
- The Sentencing Project
- Families Against Mandatory Minimums
- A New Way of Life
- Dream Defenders
- National Bail Out Fund
- Policy Link
- Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
- NAACP LDF
- Black Alliance for Just Immigration
- National Black Justice Coalition
- National Black Disability Coalition
- The Collective PAC
- Higher Heights for America
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund
* Microaggressions are statements, actions, or incidents regarded as instances of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.